Action Research: An Opportunity for Revitalizing Research Purpose and Practices

Hilary Bradbury, Peter Reason

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

171 Scopus citations


In this overview the authors describe the underlying principles of action research as: (1) grounded in lived experience, (2) developed in partnership, (3) addressing significant problems, (4) working with, rather than simply studying, people, (5) developing new ways of seeing/theorizing the world, and (6) leaving infrastructure in its wake. We refer to the role of social workers as frontline implementers of important social policies and suggest how action research can be used to both implement and also influence the creation of such policies. We offer examples of action research efforts that can be applied to the social worker's practice-scholarship repertoire.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-175
Number of pages21
JournalQualitative Social Work
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • action research
  • participation
  • research methods
  • useful research

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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